Fernando Alonso's Formula One Victory Ignites Controversy
Massa, racing on the first anniversary of a crash that nearly killed him, led the Formula One race for 49 of 67 laps before he was passed by Alonso following Ferrari messages over the team radio.
Ferrari team leaders were summoned to report to the stewards after the race as team orders are forbidden under Formula One rules. The team subsequently was fined $100,000 (US) but the result of the race was not changed.
The stewards said Ferrari was in breach of Article 39.1 of the International Auto Federation (FIA) 2010 sporting regulations, triggering the fine.
Article 39.1 says: "Team orders that interfere with race results are prohibited."
The stewards also sent the case to FIA's council for further consideration.
"I don't think I have to say anything to that," said Massa, when asked after the race about the instructions. "We work for the team."
Alonso, who is ahead of Massa in the drivers' standings, won his second race of the season and Ferrari finished 1-2 for the second time this year.
"This is a very strong result for the team, we just have to continue like this," said Alonso, a two-time Formula One champion who clinched his 23rd career race victory.
"In some parts of the race we were fighting very hard for first place, maybe it was a bit dangerous. It's a difficult race to overtake," Alonso said. "We are professional, we try to do the best for the team."
"I don't know what happened, but at the exit of turn six I saw Felipe a little bit slow. Sometimes you are quick, sometimes you are slow, and in some parts I was quicker than him, so it's very difficult to judge," Alonso said.
Sebastian Vettel of Germany was third in his Red Bull. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton of Britain in a McLaren was fourth and now leads the overall standings on 157 points, 14 ahead of teammate Jenson Button who came fifth.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said Ferrari appeared to impose team orders.
"It was surprising what happened with Ferraris, it looked to be a team order with the cars switching positions," Horner said. "If so, it's a shame for Formula One and the fans that they were deprived of a race between the two Ferrari drivers today."
After 11 of 19 races, Alonso is fifth overall on 123 points, 38 ahead of eighth-place Massa.
"I can't say I am fighting for the championship," Massa said.
The first of two decisive moments in the race took place at the start.
Pole sitter Vettel moved wide to try to block Alonso. Massa, starting from third, used the gap to pass from the outside going into the first corner while Alonso managed to slip past Vettel. The two Ferraris stayed in front for the entire race.
Then, on lap 49, Massa appeared to go slightly wide at a corner and Alonso easily shot past the Brazilian driver.
Alonso had been pushing Massa hard for several laps and was heard telling the team, "This is ridiculous."
Alonso then overtook Massa, who had just been told by Ferrari over the radio: "Fernando is faster than you, did you understand that message?"
Having dropped into second, Massa was then told: "OK, good lad. Just stick with him now."
Massa confirmed the radio conversation, but later also said he had been struggling after switching to harder tires.
Massa said Ferrari did not have team orders.
"For sure you always want to win. We don't have team orders. If you can't do the race you want, you have to think about the team. I am professional, and today I showed how professional I am," Massa said.
"Everyone saw that I can win races, that I can be competitive. But I was struggling on hard tires."
Alonso covered the 67 laps-a race distance of 306.5 kilometers (190.5 miles)-in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 38.864 seconds. He finished 4.1 seconds ahead of Massa and 5.1 seconds ahead of Vettel.
Asked about the passing maneuver of Ferrari, Vettel said. "We get the check not from you guys but from the team."
Vettel had been hoping to win his home race but said he lost it at the start.
"The first five, 10 meters I couldn't get off. I was lucky I didn't stall the engine," Vettel said.
"I couldn't stay with Alonso and I was surprised to see Massa on the left. It was tough to keep pace with the Ferraris, they were quicker most of the race," Vettel said.
Alonso, in his first season with Ferrari, won the opening race of the season in Bahrain, where Massa took second.
But Ferrari has struggled in recent races and Alonso finished 14th in the British GP two weeks ago.
"The most important thing is to feel comfortable with the car again, that we are competitive again," Alonso said.
Massa required surgery for a fractured skull sustained one year ago when he was struck on the helmet by a heavy metal spring that had come off another car during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
He spent nine days in recovery in a Budapest hospital and was also placed in an induced coma.
Massa returns to Hungary for next week's Grand Prix.
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